Scientific corner

Leukocytapheresis for rheumatoid arthritis cases that are super-resistant to any class of biological drugs and tofacitinib

Shunsuke Mori Transfusion and Apheresis Science Volume 59, Issue 6, December 2020, 102920 doi: 10.1016/j.transci.2020.102920

Many biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) and targeted synthetic DMARDs (tsDMARDs) are currently available as treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but a subset of RA patients shows inadequate responses to any of these DMARDs. This phenomenon, which we call super-resistance, is becoming a serious concern. In this study, I present two cases of super-resistant RA in which patients failed to respond to treatment with bDMARDs of any class as well as to tsDMARD therapy with tofacitinib. In these cases, leukocytapheresis (LCAP), a treatment that removes overabundant leukocytes from the body, rapidly induced low disease activity and made patients subsequently responsive to previously ineffective DMARDs. My experience with the present cases suggests that LCAP is worth considering as an alternative therapeutic option for the management of RA patients with super-resistance to DMARD therapies.

Scientific corner

Immunosuppressant and infliximab-resistant generalized pustular psoriasis successfully treated with granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis.

Scientific corner

Infliximab- and immunosuppressant-resistant Crohn’s disease successfully treated with adsorptive granulocyte apheresis combined with prednisolone.

Munenori Itagaki 1Masayuki SarutaToshio IinumaSeiji ArihiroTomohiro KatoHisao Tajiri, Case Rep Gastroenterol. 2012 Jan;6(1):118-23.

Activated granulocytes, monocytes, and platelets appear to be closely involved in active Crohn’s disease (CD). Adsorptive granulocyte apheresis (GCAP) is a new treatment for inflammatory bowel disease. GCAP was used to treat a 23-year-old female patient with CD resistant to both infliximab (IFX) and azathioprine (AZA). At 16 years of age, the patient underwent a partial ileal resection for peritonitis caused by perforative ileitis. On pathological examination of the resected specimen, the diagnosis was CD. Mesalazine was started, but the patient did not comply with therapy. She was admitted to our hospital again in 2007 due to an acute exacerbation. IFX induction therapy was started. The combination of both AZA daily and IFX every 8 weeks was continued as maintenance therapy. However, she developed severe abdominal pain in September 2009. Computed tomography revealed ileitis and ascending colitis, and blood tests showed high inflammatory response marker levels. She was considered to have IFX- and AZA-resistant CD. Initial intravenous steroid therapy did not result in any improvement. Therefore, weekly GCAP therapy was given for 5 weeks, which immediately improved the inflammatory response markers. GCAP combined with prednisolone could be effective for IFX- and AZA-refractory CD.

Scientific corner

A Case Report of Steroid and Immunosuppressant-resistant Pyoderma Gangrenosum Successfully Treated by Granulocytapheresis

Keiko Okuma,Kouichi Mitsuishi,Toshio Hasegawa,Hitoshi Tsuchihashi,Hideoki Ogawa,Shigaku Ikeda,

Abstract: Granulocytapheresis (GCAP) therapy is a newly developed therapeutic modality for inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by the appearance of erythematous macules and plaques with pustules or nodules that rapidly progress to ragged, undermined multiple ulcers. We attempted GCAP therapy in a patient with PG resistant to prednisolone and various other immunosuppressants. GCAP therapy was initiated at three- to four-day intervals and a good response from all skin lesions, with eventual total epithelialization, was observed after 10 sessions of this therapy. Furthermore, circulating levels of inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-8 (IL-8) and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) also decreased after the GCAP therapy. Our results suggest that GCAP is a safe and useful tool for the treatment of intractable PG, and that IL-8 and G-CSF are likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of PG.

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